Gonzaga Baseball Takes Down WCC Leader USF, 6-0
SAN FRANCISCO — Gonzaga starter Daniel Bies went the distance for the third time this year, shutting out league-leading San Francisco on the way to a 6-0 win on the road in San Francisco, Calif.
Bies fittingly struck out the game’s final two batters to tally 11 strikeouts for Gonzaga (20-16, 10-6) in his complete game shutout, allowing just six hits and with zero walks against the Dons (21-17, 10-6). The complete game was Bies’ third of the season, and the shutout was GU’s fifth in 2018. It was also the first complete-game shutout for a Zag since Eli Morgan kept Pacific scoreless on March 17, 2017.
The win moves Gonzaga to within a half-game of the West Coast Conference’s top spot, and could put them in a tie depending on the outcome Friday night’s Loyola Marymount-Portland game. The Lions head into the game at 10-5, while both Gonzaga and USF are now 10-6.
“That was our most complete game of the year,” head coach Mark Machtolf said. “Daniel Bies set the tone with great defense behind him. Offensively, we had a lot of great team at-bats. Isaac Barrera really provided a spark in the bottom half of the order.”
The GU offense came through to provide Bies a cushion to work with in the latter innings. The Zags got a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth, before adding insurance runs in the eighth and ninth.
Barrera got only his fifth start of the season and made the most of it at the plate with a 3-for-4 day, including a double and two runs batted in. Branson Trube added two hits and a run scored, and Jake Vieth reached three times, all on walks.
An RBI groundout by Austin Pinorini got the scoring started in the fourth, and then GU broke the game open with an RBI single by Gunnar Schubert and a two-RBI single by Barrera to push the lead to 4-0 in the fifth.
A bunt single in the eighth by Ernie Yake brought home Pinorini from third, and then pinch hitter Daniel Fredrickson brought Nick Brooks home in the ninth with an RBI double.
Gonzaga will meet San Francisco on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the second game of a three-game series. Check GoZags.com for links to live coverage.